The paramount ruler of Okpella in Edo State, the Okuokpellagbe of Okpella Kingdom, Alhaji Yesufu Dirisu has reassured youths of the community that the decision of Dangote Group to build a cement plant in the community was on course. He dismissed rumours of threats from the community to the investment.
The Okuokpellagbe gave the assurance at the weekend while addressing youths and members of the Okpella kingdom who stormed his palace to show their displeasure with news making the rounds that indigenes of the community were not favourably disposed to the firm’s plan.
Dangote Cement had recently announced plans to commence a three million tonnes per annum production capacity cement plant in Okpella. The green field plant is worth $500 million. The new plants are expected to add 9million metric tonnes per annum to the company’s current local cement output of 29.25 million metric tonnes, bringing it to a total of 38.25 million metric tonnes per annum.
Dispalying placards with various inscriptions such as “Dangote is a blessing to Okpella Community”; “Come, Dangote come”; “Youths welcome Dangote”, the protesters said they were at the palace to show solidarity with Dangote in the wake of perceived uncertainties over his decision to invest in the community.
Representative of Okpella Youth Mr. Kadiri Christopher, said: “History has been made today, particularly on the side of the youths because there were uncertainties about Dangote investing in our community. But today, the youths are saying we are behind Dangote 100 per cent. We are not cursed; we want development in our community.”
Alhaji Dirisu said the action of the youths had created an opportunity for the world to see the community appreciating the good news from Dangote Group.
“We want to tell the world that Dangote Group is very much welcome to Okpella to do his business, and to say that every support that he will need from time to time, he will get at all times.”
Former Chairman of Esako East Local Government Area Godwin Eshieshie also assured the firm of peace, security and concord.
“There will be no security threat to Dangote anytime he comes. Take the message back that there is no threat of any nature to hinder Dangote’s investment in our community. Okpella is more than glad for this kind of investment because we know it is the number one international investor in Africa and we hope to see him soon.”